Strike a Posture Pose
Chin up, shoulders back, chest out, tummy in. Nothing improves your look faster than having great posture. Correcting your posture will immediately make you look younger, taller, thinner and more confident. You will feel better, look better and gain a more positive attitude.
Although the topic of posture is often overlooked in fitness circles, it plays an important role in health, fitness and wellbeing. A good posture improves breathing, digestion and circulation, and reduces muscle fatigue, back strain and shoulder tension. Good posture can also relieve or eliminate neck pain, recurrent headaches, lower back pain and post-workout muscle soreness.
In addition to the physical benefits, you will notice a change in your attitude. Have you ever tried sounding angry or sad with a big smile on your face? You can’t do it! The same holds true for having a good posture. The way you carry yourself will affect your perspective and enhance the way others see you.
Notice the people around you. Those who walk around slumped over appear tired, worn-out and depressed. Conversely, those who walk tall and maintain good posture appear healthy, poised, self-assured, and personally centered. Look at yourself in the mirror. Which category do you fall into? Practice having good posture in the mirror. Do you notice a difference in the energy you put off? Remain mindful of your posture throughout the day. If you find yourself slouching, correct the problem and remind yourself how great is for your body and mind.
Regular exercise that focuses on strengthening the muscles in your upper and lower abdominals, shoulders and back will help to improve your posture. Tai Chi, Yoga and Pilates are great activities for improving posture. Don’t overlook the fantastic benefits of weight lifting to enhance your muscles and improve your posture.
It is especially important to keep your posture in mind if you have a desk job or if you drive a lot. When we sit for extended periods of time, we tend to lean forward and hunch over. This causes the back muscles to weaken and the chest muscles (pectorals) to shorten. Every half hour or so, take a short stretch break. Stretch your arms out in front of your body, then pull them back in a rowing motion. Stretch high over head; lift higher with the left arm, then with the right. Roll your shoulders around, push your shoulders back. Pay special attention to these muscles during your workouts. These muscles will need strengthening with care to avoid injury.
Loving your self and the body it's in takes dedication, so pat yourself on the back! See you next week!
Melinda Haynes, MA, LMFT
Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist
California lic. no. 102308
The persons depicted on this site are models. Photos do not represent or guarantee results.